My Nontoxic Hair Game

January 8, 2018 (updated February 9, 2023) — Written by

my favorite nontoxic hair styling products lined up on a wooden background

Okay wanted to run through my nontoxic hair game with you guys. One of my besties was asking me the other day what I use and I thought this round up would be helpful to more than just her so here we go!

First let me describe my hair so you can either tune in or tune out depending – lol. So my hair has a natural wave to it. I can either blow it straight or encourage curl – I’ve been loving the latter especially after having kids because I think my hair got even a little bit more curly. Anyways I also have thick hair – like the shaft of my hair is think in diameter – and its thick like there are many hairs/square inch on my scalp. If this sounds similar, listen up!


True Botanicals Shampoo, $34
True Botanicals Shampoo, $34

This first product does not specifically relate to styling but I LOVE when my hair feels clean – can I get an AMEN!? I have tried a ton of green shampoos and True Botanicals Nourishing Shampoo is by far my top fave. Why? Because it WORKS. It’s pricy but let me explain; it lathers, cleans, smells good, packaging is responsible, ingredients check out and it last a while. Like two bottles will get you through the year. Highly recommend this shampoo. I seriously was about to jump off the clean hair cliff because no green shampoos were working for me until my friend Suzi recommended this brand. Saved my life.

The Right Towel

Marmara Imports Organic Cotton Turkish Hair Towel - $25
Marmara Imports Organic Cotton Turkish Hair Towel – $25

Okay so this is a key step toward getting a defined curl/wave. After getting out of the shower do not wrap hair in a towel. It has to be fully wet to get curls to form and stay together. I usually take a towel and with my fist, squeeze the hair past my shoulders just so it is not dripping but still saturated.

I am loving this organic Turkish hair towel by Marmara Imports. Not only is it 100% organic cotton but it is hand woven in Turkey on a traditional shuttle loom and fairly traded. It gets just the right amount of water out of my hair with out drying it or adding frizz. (And when I decide to straighten my hair I love wrapping it in this towel, perfect size, super light and I can keep it on and run around the house doing housework while putting my hair on hold until I can get to it.)

A Great Comb

Cainnon Wood Comb, $50
Cainnon Wood Comb, $50

Next, run a wide tooth comb through your hair to take out the tangles. Wide tooth is necessary to avoid separating hairs. You want it to piece together. Plus this comb will not break, split or damage hairs. You can find these cheap – I got mine from Whole Foods for less than $10 but I am green with envy over this salvaged wood, hand-carved one.

A Clean Styling Cream

Innersense Inner Peace

Next? Styling cream. I got a sample of this Innersense Beauty Whipped Crème Texturizer when I picked up their shampoo to try this past year. Fell IN LOVE with this styling cream instantly. It is light weight, not super sticky, not heavy or crusty and does not coat hair. It enhances curl definition and allows hair to move naturally plus the ingredients check out. My hair is a little bit longer than shoulder length and I need less than a dime size to style. Like maybe even a pea size or two worth of product total – work evenly between hands then apply throughout hair running hands through locks. I usually flip hair upside-down to do this. Pick yours up at Aillea Beauty!

Now this is another crucial step. You need a diffuser – like the big claw kind. This is the one I use – the dryer and diffuser came as a set – and it works good.

Keep hair upside down while drying. This will give it more volume and lift. So before turning the dryer on, squeeze hair together so it clumps to itself. Then turn dryer on and dry hair upside-down gently encouraging curls – squeezing the ends of hair up in fists towards the scalp. (This is so awkward to describe!) Anyways, use patience, it takes me about 15 minutes to completely dry my hair. If you rough-up hair too much it will look frizzy so be gentle.

Do this until hair is fully dry. I like to finish with a cold blast for 1 minute or so to close the hair cuticle.

A Hairspray That Works

Josh Rosebrook Firm Hold Hairspray, $22

Next flip right-side-up and set with Josh Rosebrook’s Hair Spray. This is by far the best green hairspray I’ve used. It’s clean, mostly organic, smells amazing and steps up to the plate with some serious staying power. It has a medium to strong hold but can be layered for an even stronger hold if needed. And it dries clear, no flaking or crusties.

That’s it! At this point my hair looks crazy tall but it settles into itself within 30 minutes or so with defined curls and some nice volume.

Me and my hair

Next Day Revival 

The best part of this do is that it will last a few DAYS! So I legit sleep with a pillow over my head and my hair still looks good the next day. Like, I don’t take any extra steps at night to preserve my do. The next morning I just go back in with a little sea salt spray – I like this one by Captain Blankenship.

Captain Blankenship Sea Salt Hair Spray, $12 (2 oz) $24 (4 oz)

The Sea Salt Hairspray is great for smoothing down any frizz and redefining curls. A couple of spritzes and I will twirl a few strands around my fingers to piece curls back together and go!

And this method is great too because you never have to brush your hair. The only time I run a comb through my locks is right after shampooing.

So this will take me through day 2/3 an by day 4 I usually throw it up in a top knot and call it a day. This is a cute top knot tutorial by Juli over at PaleOMG (sans the Bumble and Bumble – but you guys already knew that).

Dry Shampoo

Captain Blankenship Mermaid Dry Shampoo, $14

If I ever squeeze out a day 5 I will go in with some dry shampoo on the eve of day 4. I like this one by Captain Blankenship. Just powder the areas of your scalp that have any buildup and run fingers through hair to disperse. Sleep on it and by the morning grease will be gone as well as any white powdery residue.

Now go get your nontoxic hair on!

What products do you like to use?


xo, lisa in cursive

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By Lisa Fennessy

Lisa is the founder of The New Knew. Passionate about clean beauty, organic eats and nontoxic lifestyle, Lisa writes to create awareness. Conscious consumerism and informed decisions will impact the marketplace, our health and THE WORLD!


    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      My pleasure! Thank you for making a clean shampoo that CLEANS!

  1. Reply


    What about the hair dye? Did you find a non-toxic one?

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      YES! I have been using Hairprint exclusively for just about a year now! Search my site for “Hairprint” and you will see several of my experiences come up. Start with The Review – that is the most detailed one!

  2. Reply


    Okay, I just saw your Hairprint post. Will you please disclose your relationship to the Hairprint business? Are they relatives, or do you benefit in any way from promoting their product? This will help readers to make a reasonable evaluation. Thank you.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Thanks for your question. No we are not related. I found this company last year and reached out to them because I wanted to know more. I tried their product and it was not working for me so they invited me first to have it applied by their green chemists here in Mass and it still didn’t work so they invited me out to San Fransisco to have Hairprint applied by their pro. After this experience of meeting the company and seeing how this product works I wanted to share with anyone one else who is looking for a nontoxic option like I was. Or for someone who has tried Hairprint unsuccessfully. So taking anyone along who wants to follow on my ups and downs with this product.

  3. Reply


    Read your fantastic article about ‘organic’ hair dyes. You seemed impressed with Hairprint but noted that it didn’t work for you. Have there been any changes on that end? Any updates on that product line or anything else that is working for you? I’m 54 years old, very gray and yet very, very concerned about repeatedly applying these chemicals on my self. what are you currently using?

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Valerie! Yes! Thanks for your comment. I have had great success after the company showed me how to apply. If you go back to my website and search “Hairprint” all of my experiences to follow have been documented with before and after pics! Let me know if you have any questions!

  4. Reply


    Your hair is so pretty! Mine is wavy too (not uniform though – drives me crazy) but thinner. I think my hair would be HUGE if I blow-dried upside down 100%. Do you ever air dry? If so, I’d be curious to see what your hair looks like then and if you use different products.

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Thanks girl! Air drying is impossible fore me – frizz city! It looks horrible for reals. But I’ve always wished for that because it would make my life so much easier!

  5. Reply


    Thank you for the great reviews! A while back I ordered the towel you reviewed and I LOVE it!!! I’m glad I finally read the directions to soak it in water and dry it first, because at first it really repelled water. After I soaked and dried it it worked wonderfully. It’s the only hair towel I use now! 🙂

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      A girl after my own heart! I am a chronic “use first, read later” consumer! I hate directions – but the problem is, they are so helpful! : ) Glad you are loving it!

  6. Reply


    I just ordered the Captain Blankenship Sea Salt spray and it was twice the price you quoted it above. Did I miss something, or did they double the price since you published this?

    1. Reply

      Lisa Fennessy

      Hi Julia! Sorry about the confusion! The 2 oz sells for $12 and the 4 oz is $24 – thanks for that!

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